Inside the stone walls, Sun’s team found another unexpected innovation: wooden beams used as reinforcement. The Shimao walled site encompasses a total area of 400 hectares. The pyramid was surrounded by embryonic urban designs and inner and outer perimeter walls. 15-year-old boy discovers lost ancient Mayan city, The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada, Lost tomb with 72 ancient skeletons from extinct Canary Islands civilization found by drone after 1,000 years, Discovery of hidden 3,500-year-old warrior grave stuffed with treasure could re-write ancient Greek history, 387-Year-Old Shopping List Discovered Under Floorboards In Historic English Home, The Ancient Remains of 5,000-Year-Old ‘Giants’ Discovered in China, Headless Vikings The “Most exciting & Disturbing” Archaeological Discoveries in Britain In Recent Years, Mass grave of Viking army contained slaughtered children to help dead reach afterlife, experts believe, Buried in the sand for a millennium: Africas roman ghost city, Petrified Opal Tree Trunk Situated In Arizona Its About 225 Million Years Old, The Lost City Of Heracleion Discovered Deep Underwater After 1,200 Years, Liquid Blood Extracted From 42,000-Year-Old Foal Found Frozen in Siberia, Rabbit hole leads to incredible 700-year-old Knights Templar cave complex, Drought Reveals “Spanish Stonehenge” Older Than the Pyramids, Paleolithic Art – c. 14000-year-old Bull and Cow Bison found in the Le Tuc d’Audoubert cave, Ariege, France, Here are the list of top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2019, Archaeology dig in Spain yields prehistoric ‘crystal weapons’, 2,500-Year-Old Chariot Found – Complete with Rider And Horses, Nodosaur Dinosaur ‘Mummy’ Unveiled With Skin And Guts Intact in Canada, Mysterious Egyptian Artifact From the Bronze Age Found Off Israeli Coast, Researchers Find 1,400-Year-Old Rooms Under Jerusalem’s Western Wall, 3,200-year-old Egyptian built fortress found in Israel, Late 19th-Century Brisbane’s original Chinatown found under Albert Street in Australia, Ancient Rome — Construction Workers Find Rare Intact Roman Tomb. Between 2011 and 2012 when a full coverage survey was carried out by archaeologists from Shaanxi province, three well-preserved stone-made enclosures – the Huang Cheng Tai platform, an inner and outer city – were discovered. It’s visible from every part of the city and is half the height of the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt built around the same time. ( archaeology & arts ) Artifacts such as jade, murals, and countless pottery shards support the belief that Shimao was an important prehistoric city.

Based on my BA results I was awarded two scholarships and during my post-graduate studies I worked as a tutor. These structures are connected by an approximately 9 m wide¡º-shaped doorway and measure at 4000 m2. Despite its seeming remoteness today, Shimao was not insulated from the outside world. On the walls of the inner wencheng walled enclosure are colorful paintings of geometric shapes, which are highly significant to the study of the History of Chinese ancient art. His current research focuses on the Neolithic, Shang and Zhou archaeology, and is especially interested in early state formation and the settlement pattern and social structure of Northern China during the Neolithic Period. The Shimao walled site encompasses a total area of 400 hectares. Among the most astonishing finds are a step-pyramid and evidence of human sacrifice. The Shimao Site is located in the northern part of the Loess Plateau, and it is on the southern edge of the Mu Us (Ordos) Desert in China. See more ideas about Archaeology, Neolithic, Ancient history archaeology. The team is multi-disciplinary, involving researchers in archaeology, physical anthropology, botany, zoology, geology, carbon dating and other areas. The Wencheng walled enclosure, mamian, watchtowers and other structures, on one hand, indicate that the Northern region may have been often embroiled in intense political turmoil and violent military conflicts, and on the other hand, provide some of the earliest evidence of an earthen and stone-built defense system in East Asia.

This precious stone came from 1,000 miles (1609.34 km) away and people began to wonder why it was showing up in this region that was believed to be sparsely inhabited in ancient times. Shimao now is the largest known Neolithic settlement in China and none of the ancient Chinese texts mentions a city residing so far north of the “cradle of Chinese Civilization”. The villagers of China’s dusty Loess Plateau believed for decades that the crumbling rocks near their homes were from China’s Great Wall, which was very common along the area.

Ten of them are in the Tuwei river basin, where Shimao is located. These scholars are experienced specialists in their respective fields and great strides have been made in their research on the Shimao site. Sun Zhouyong  (Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology). 5: jade items found at East Gate; 7: jade and metal bracelets with a human arm bone found in a burial; 8: stone human head; 9: Shimao ceramics. Currently, an unmanned aerial vehicle is used to conduct 3D spatial analysis and obtain high-resolution images, and the information acquired will be used for the Digital Orthophoto Map (DOM), Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and ArcGIS of the site. The ruins were first discovered decades ago but were thought to be part of the Great Wall of China until recent discoveries revealed that they are much older. Designed for danger, Shimao was built on a conflict zone i.e. The most well-preserved section is about 1 m above the current ground surface. The sheer size of the project leads archaeologists to believe that Shimao commanded the loyalty—and labour—of smaller satellite towns that have recently been discovered in its orbit.

Another discovery flummoxed Sun and his team: 20 identical pieces of bone, thin, smooth, and curved.

It wasn’t earthquake, flood, or plague. The recent discoveries are once again showing that the Shaanxi region played a very important role in the origin of civilization in China. The once-distant tongue of the Ordos Desert now laps at the banks of the Tuwei River, just below the entrance to Shimao.

We are only beginning to understand what the carvings might signify, says UCLA’s Li Min, but the anthropomorphic representations are “a very innovative and rare attempt.”. The findings provide support for the idea that people at the time may have viewed ¡°jades¡± as apotropaic. The sacrifice of the women could have been part of a ritual to make this area unique and to secure the favor of the gods. A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America, Neolithic Beacon Towers Uncovered at China’s Shimao Ruins. Specialists in physical anthropology, botany, zoology, geology, carbon dating and other disciplines are involved in the research of the Shimao site. Many artifacts found at Shimao could only have come from distant lands. The archaeologists guessed that these were combs or hairpins, until a musical scholar deduced that the bones were the earliest examples of a primitive reed instrument known in Chinese as the mouth reed and more colloquially as the Jew’s harp. Image Credit: Siyuwj CC BY SA 4.0 Th researchers wrote in their study that on the topmost step of the pyramid, there “were extensive palaces built of rammed earth, with wooden pillars and roofing tiles, a gigantic water reservoir, and domestic remains related to daily life.” The skulls’ number and placement suggest a ritual beheading during the laying of the wall’s foundation—the earliest known example of human sacrifice in Chinese history. Aerial view of the Shimao archaeological site. Besides the jade, archaeologists also found the remains of alligator skins, which must have come from a swampier region much farther south.

“It is an important discovery that provides valuable clues to explore the early flows of population and culture.”, Only a small fraction of Shimao has been excavated so far, so the discoveries keep coming. They were crucial in the development of ancient Chinese culture. To protect themselves from violent rivals, the Shimao elites moulded their oblong 20-tiered pyramid on the highest of those hills. This could help scholars to re-write the history of human sacrifice in China. In 2013 a team of Chinese archaeologists investigated and they uncovered not part of the Great Wall but a long-lost city! Other features are herded animals for subsistence, oxen and sheep and metallurgy. The defense system of civilization is as fascinating as its infrastructure and huge fortifications. The city was built in a conflict zone, a borderland dominated for thousands of years by warfare between herders of the northern steppe and farmers of the central plains. Also found at the site was the earliest known mouth harp found in China and a reed used in a wind instrument. Even more astonishing: Carbon-dating determined that parts of Shimao, as the site is called (its original name is unknown), date back 4,300 years, nearly 2,000 years before the oldest section of the Great Wall—and 500 years before Chinese civilisation took root on the Central Plains, several hundred miles to the south. The most well-preserved part of the wall surrounding the platform is over ten stories in height. It is most likely a district of palatial nature, where large burials, stone figurines and other important features and artifacts have been found. The skulls are just one indication that the East Gate marked the entrance to a different world. Remnants of the ancient barrier zigzag through this arid region inside the northern loop of the Yellow River, marking the frontier of Chinese rule stretching back more than 2,000 years. (Here's why ancient fortifications in Europe had melted stone walls.). The grisly discoveries are offering new insight into the origin of early Chinese civilization and the history of human sacrifice. Your email address will not be published. The stones were adorned with thousands of fragments of exquisite jade. The perimeter of interior wall is about 4200 m in length, and the exterior wall, 5700 m. Many defense features, such as gates, watch towers and mamian (a horse face-shaped reinforcement feature for defense) are located along the stone walls. The first impression of Shimao, even as a partially excavated site in the barren hills above the Tuwei River, is of a city designed to face constant danger. To protect themselves from violent attacks, the Shimao people constructed their 20-tiered pyramid on the highest of the northern hills.

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